to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor

Saturday, February 27, 1999

State leaders should suffer sting of pay cut, too

In response to the lastest budget cut by the state, I notice there are no proposed cuts in benefits or salaries for department directors or the governor for a lack of performance.

There are no penalties for those who lead and collect a salary on behalf of the people of this state, but who are failing to do what they were hired to do.

I am a member of the new generation of voters who know the roots of the Democratic Party in Hawaii. It will not be a free ride for you anymore. Local Democrats need a wake-up call to provide the leadership for this new generation or they will lose it.

Grant Nakamoto
(Via the Internet)

Legislators' retirement benefits are too generous

I am tired of Governor Cayetano demeaning the retirement benefits of our judges, police officers and firefighters. While decrying the most respected of government workers, Cayetano somehow can defend the huge largess our elected officials are paid.

Cayetano says that "since lawmakers do not make as much money as judges, and don't have as much job security, a case can be made that they are entitled to a better retirement plan."

Our legislators work only 60 days per year. But they are paid $32,000 plus medical benefits and a hefty 3.5 percent per year retirement package, with retirement available after 10 years regardless of age.

Cayetano has frequently called himself a "public servant." Who wouldn't want to be a public servant if they knew that they would be able to retire after 28 years of elected service with a $72,000-a-year retirement package plus medical and dental for life?

What's good enough for judges is good enough for our politicians -- 2 percent per year with retirement at age 55. Maybe then the term "public servant" will really mean something.

Marge Young
Ewa Beach

Retirement system must be fair to contributors

As a government worker and SHOPO member, I am outraged at the suggestion that my retirement benefits should be calculated solely on my base salary.

I have been paying into the retirement system for 20 years. I have paid based on a percentage of my salary plus overtime. Now that I am getting close to retirement, however, the Legislature wants to change the rules. Would anyone call that fair?

Perhaps current employees should be grandfathered in. Or perhaps only non-contributing members of the system should have their benefits calculated on base salary.

I'm in favor of a system that is solvent and fair.

Mark H. Anzai
Pearl City

Those who did not win should resign immediately

If a ballot recount shows different candidates actually won, and our public institutions vacillate about installing them, our population will have been denied a basic right -- the right to vote.

Such an outcome would stand our Constitution on its head and must be vigorously opposed by Hawaii voters. Furthermore, any candidate who does not resign in the face of a recount loss is a disgrace.

David Lundquist



Bullet "We will never win by flying a banner of soft pastels with words that lack substance. We will win by following Ronald Reagan's example and unfurling a flag of bright, bold colors that proudly proclaim what it is to be a Republican."

-- Outgoing state Republican Chairwoman Donna Alcantara.

Bullet "For most Americans, marijuana is a terminus drug rather than a gateway drug. Probably 60 to 70 percent who use marijuana never use another illegal drug."

-- Dr. John P. Morgan, a New York physician and pharmacology professor, in Honolulu to testify on Hawaii's drunken-driving laws.

Bullet "The arrested dissidents and their courageous supporters deserve our full backing in their historic struggle to bring democracy to China."

-- Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., sponsor of a resolution condemning China for human rights abuses.

Bad management is destroying billfishing

As a small businessman who promotes sportfishing in Hawaii, I am dismayed at the future of our fishery and its resulting economic impact. Through improper management, Hawaii is destroying its billfishery industry and simultaneously losing billions of dollars of revenues.

Large ocean predators like marlin are viewed and managed throughout the country and the rest of the world as sport fish. In Hawaii, however, both longliners and sportfishermen alike harvest these fish without a management plan.

The combined acts of longline boats stripping fish stocks and our local "catch-and-kill" mentality are dooming this fishery and a huge income source for Hawaii because anglers are going elsewhere for fishing vacations.

In Hawaii, it takes an average of three boat trips to catch a marlin, while in places such as Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Venezuela, where billfish stocks are properly managed, anglers catch an average of three billfish per trip. No amount of advertising is going to put more fish in our waters to lure sportsfishermen here; only proper management of the resource will. With proper management, we can restore the fishery to once again attract anglers from around the world.

Wouldn't it make more sense to generate revenues by preserving the fishery than limit revenues by ruining the fishery and driving anglers to other destinations?

Mike House
President, Sportfish
(Via the Internet)

Millennium bug spreads confusion

I hope I haven't misunderstood your instructions because, to be honest, this whole Y to K problem doesn't make sense to me. At any rate, I have finished converting all the months on the calendar so that the year 2000 is ready to go with the following new months: Januark, Februark, Mak and Julk.

Alter Nathan Bader
Lihue, Kauai
(Via the Internet)

Hawaii marketers should focus on mainland visitors

The fix for the economy and the terrible drop in the Asian tourist market is as plain as day. The economy in Asian countries is terrible and people there are just trying to survive. Expensive vacations are the last thing they are concerned with.

The answer is to focus our efforts on trying to bring our American countrymen here to vacation. I have relatives in New York and Iowa and they have not seen an ad for a Hawaii vacation in years. This should be our target.

The economies of all states other than Hawaii are booming. The answer to our economic woes is not in Asia...it is right in our own back yard.

Roger Yoder

(Via the Internet)

Talented artist Mackey Feary will be missed

I was saddened and angered to hear of Mackey Feary's passing -- saddened to know that Hawaii has lost another gifted artist, angered by his lack of strength.

When I long for home, the music of Kalapana is one of my favorite sources of strength. On the way to the beach or at parties, the music of Kalapana brings back some of my fondest memories as a youth growing up in Hawaii.

What a shame to hear that one of my inspirations for facing the future could not face the future himself. I truly hope that he is in a better place, free from the chains of his mortality. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and all of his fans who will truly miss him dearly.

Barry Abe
Phoenix, Ariz.
(Via the Internet)

Feary case spotlights need for alternative punishments

All inmate suicides or questionable prison deaths should be a cause for grave concern and sadness. However, the suicide of entertainer Bryant "Mackey" Feary Jr., two days after a judge refused to reconsider a harsh 10-year sentence involving his drug abuse while on probation, is an unusually shocking tragedy.

Without knowing more than the publicized facts about Feary's original 1996 arrest in the Waimalu Shopping Center, one can only wonder if his sentence was an over reaction to the recent public hew and cry about judicial rulings perceived as too lenient. Obviously, we can never know.

But if any good can come from such a bad situation, perhaps this high-profile case will dramatize the need for appropriate alternatives to incarceration for such offenses. Although nothing can bring Mr. Feary back, it might lessen the likelihood that friends and family of lesser-known men and women will have to suffer such needless trama in the future.

Faye Kennedy
Retired parole officer

Write a
Letter to the Editor

Want to write a letter to the editor? Let all Star-Bulletin readers know what you think. Please keep your letter to about 200 words. You can send it by e-mail to letters@starbulletin.com or you can fill in the online form for a faster response. Or print it and mail it to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802. Or fax it to: 523-8509. Always be sure to include your daytime phone number.

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin